Apostle Betty Peebles, senior pastor of Jericho City of Praise in Landover and a longtime gospel artist, educator and radio personality, passed away in a Baltimore hospital Oct. 12 of cancer at the age of 76.

Her son and assistant pastor at the church Elder Joel R. Peebles Sr. posted a statement on Jericho’s website expressing his thoughts on the passing of his mother. “It is with a sorrowful spirit that I announce the passing to glory of my beloved mother and your beloved Apostle, Betty P. Peebles,” Peebles said. “Her smile will forever be etched in our hearts. Please continue to keep my family and the church family in your prayers.”

For nearly 50 years, Peebles had been working in the ministry. It began in 1963 when, along with her husband, the Rt. Rev. James R. Peebles Sr., organized the Peebles Gospel Chorus. The next year, under the direction of the Apostle A.H.S. Johnson of Rehoboth Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., the Peebles founded what was to become Jericho Baptist Church. The church finally had its own building in March 1969, completed an addition to the building in 1977 and then another addition 10 years later. In 1978, Jericho launched the Jericho Christian Training Center/College and to this date, it has graduated over 7,000 students. The church moved into its current home in 1997 and is one of the most powerful Black churches in Prince George’s County.

Viewings of Apostle Peebles are scheduled for Oct. 21 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., followed by a wake from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Oct. 22 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., both at the Jericho City of Praise main sanctuary. The homecoming service is to follow at 11 a.m.

In 1996, the Rt. Rev. Peebles passed away with the eldest son, James R. Peebles Jr. following him in death one year later. John R. Peebles Sr., the middle son, passed away in 2004.


George Barnette

Special to the AFRO